Genetic CVD risk can be reduced by diet

EVEN people who carry a genetic variant conferring high cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk can modify the risk of a myocardial infarct through diet, a study suggests.

An international group of scientists has challenged the commonly held belief that people are “stuck with their genes”, demonstrating that the effect of a high-risk genotype can be mitigated through consumption of leafy greens, raw vegetables and fruits.

In one of the largest gene-diet interaction studies focusing on CVD, researchers conducted a case-control study among more than 8000 individuals, including carriers and non-carriers of the 9p21 cluster of single nucleotide polymorphisms, one of the most robust genetic markers for heart disease.

They found carriers who ate a “prudent” diet high in raw plant foods, nuts and dairy had a similar risk of non-fatal acute myocardial infarction (MI) to non-carriers, while high genetic risk plus a diet high in meats, eggs